A. Rey of Hope
There's no time like the present so why not make today the day? The day that you decide that where you live can be perfect for how you live.
Things just don't fit right, you may think. Or, if there were only more cabinets in this darn kitchen!
Whatever it is about your home that's cramping your style, here's a way to address it all now.
Make yourself a map. Not a map of your home the way it is exactly, but a map of what you need it to be.
Begin with what is unchangeable. For instance, if you are not prepared to do any reconstruction, all of your walls and fixed appliances and shelving are the first things that belong on your map.
Add in only furniture that you absolutely know is in the appropriate room. Leave out any large items that you think might not stay in place.
Next, it's time to dream. Fill in the blank rooms with a word or two for what you intend to do in those rooms.
Take your map from room to room and be a detective.
Does everything in this room relate to what it says on your map? Are there things that don't belong? Can everything that belongs be put away in some sort of storage in this room?
After 6 years working closely with a wide variety of people looking to organize their homes, their offices, their files and paper, and their lives, I have come up with a term that describes a common experience that is a key factor leading many to the cluttered situations they exasperatingly find themselves in.
The term is S.T.A.R.S. "Shiny Things (© Annette Reyman) Syndrome".
Want to know if you're suffering from seeing STARS? Here are the symptoms -
Can sound like:
I love this, where can I use it?
It’s so much cheaper if we buy it in bulk.
This is a great price; I know I’ll find someone to give it to.
It’s so cute, I have to have it! (even though it doesn’t fit just right and I have nothing that matches it)
Do you know how much these used to cost? I can’t believe I found them at such a great price.
Can lead to:
An excessively cluttered environment
Feelings of overwhelm
Anxiety & depression
Not to be confused with:
Healthy, natural curiosity
We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
~ Joseph Campbell
you have decided that getting organized is in order, sorting through your
belongings will be a key part of the process. Sometimes we can look at the same
items over and over and not really know how to make a decision about what to do
with them. This list of thirty-seven questions should help you in that
decision-making process. Check down the list when you are stumped with an
object and see what questions help move you forward.
01. Does it belong to someone else?
02. Is it too worn/broken/unidentifiable to use?
03. Are you legally required to keep it?
04. Is there a tax reason to keep it?
05. Would you need this check / document in a legal
06. Will you actually use it/refer to it? (Have you in
07. Will you really read it? When?
08. Is the information still current? (or can newer
information be found online?)
09. Have you used it in the last year?
10. Do you think you will use it again (or for the first
time) and what circumstances will have to be in place in order for you
to use it?
11. Are you really going to finish this project?
Organized people are decision makers.
"In general, organized people can say, 'This is good enough,' and then move forward," says Reyman. "It doesn't have to be perfect, and we don't have to rehash it 10,000 different ways." Organized people consider their options, choose one and stick to it, without looking back with regret on the paths not taken, she says.
I've got all the money I'll ever need, if I die by four o'clock.
- Henny Youngman
Are you one of those people who has so much money you just don't know what to do with it? You know, extra cash just laying around collecting dust. No? Me neither.
I will be speaking at the Philadelphia Home Show this coming weekend. Last year, Mark Brunetz of the reality show Clean House, spoke before me. I really enjoyed listening to him speak about his experiences working on the show and with people who really needed help getting their homes back in order. He also had a lot of great information to share.
One thing Mark shared was the statistic that one in every ten Americans rents a storage unit. One in twenty rent multiple.
First, I just want to say that there are many good reasons to rent a storage unit, some of them being:
- A place to house your belongings during an extended home transition
- As a wear-house for business product inventory for a current business
- A place to store your home items while living abroad
to name a few.
However, "I have more stuff than what can fit into my home" is not one of them. If you have more than what you can fit into your home you either have too much stuff or need to buy a bigger home.
If buying something bigger is not an option, think about this: A 5 X 10 foot storage unit averages about $175.00 per month. Would you rather pay $175 dollars to store things you don't use, or put $175 extra into your budget each month? That's an extra $2,100.00 per year.
Consider what it's worth before you pay one more month's rent.